Thursday, February 2, 2012
Guest Blog: New Qualitative Indices for Urban America
ROJS News Guest Post
One of the discouraging realities of modern day life in our nation is the constant theme of publishing data and statistics on the demographics of urban life from the lens and perspectives of those who lack depth, scope and authentic insight and real time data about the lives and realities of people in urban America.
Far too many people seek to report and publish a Misery Index especially for urban venues.
Far too often these narratives are full of sterile and empty statistics which purport to cover the economic and quality of life for residents of the city yet just the opposite happens. The paradigms and templates many of these urban planners, non-profit executives, academics ignore the reality of life in the corridors and avenues of the city.
Many of these inferences are based upon models which do not replicate the real life metrics of life in the city and of course many of the architects of these white papers and studies lack the authentic insights from the people who are the subjects of these metrics and statistics.
When this paradigm is focused on the urban communities of America the demographics are depressing and too often negative. There is always a sense of despair, failure and crisis in most articulated demographics about Black folks in the city. Grievance reporting is something I will never endorse or affirm. It is a model often filled with disinformation and propaganda.
I believe this constant theme of decay and failure creates a collective sense of failure and hopelessness in to many Black venues. Therefore I propose a new set of standards, lists, metrics and rankings be created that articulate the positive attributes and accomplishments of the urban residents especially its Black residents. There is a place for the metrics of love, happiness, progress, civility, solidarity, and community.
The architects of these new metrics must reflect not only the demographics of the city (read majority Black folks) but they must be comprehensive, novel and free from the metrics and contamination of the past templates and paradigms that indicted and demonized every behavior and aspect of life for city residents.
Let’s run numbers and create metrics and paradigms on those in the community who are happy, productive, and engaged in activities that promote progressive outcomes. Designing a nation with our ideas is my canvass for the community.
Author's Bio-Gregory Thrasher is a blogger and the director of Plane Ideas. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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